What you need to know about deep cycle solar batteriesJeff Florance
When it comes to renewable energy, deep cycle solar batteries play a very important role. This is because they can provide enough energy storage to sustain a particular application, in both residential and commercial environments. Find out more about deep cycle batteries in this week’s blog post.
It is said that a battery is the heart of any off-grid power system. We couldn’t agree with this more.
Thanks to ever-evolving technology, today’s batteries are better than ever. However, you still need to do your homework when choosing deep cycle batteries for your solar system.
Do you want to know if deep cycle solar batteries are suitable for you? Talk to our lighting experts at Black Frog today!
What is a deep cycle solar battery?
Solar Batteries (Deep Cycle Solar Batteries) are a key component in a solar energy system—whether it’s off-grid or the battery bank is used for backup in case of electrical grid failure. For instance, if you want to install a solar panel that will be tied to your utility grid, you will still need deep cycle batteries to use power in the event of an outage. Without them, you can only use electricity at the time you produce it
Unlike a regular battery, deep cycle batteries used in renewable energy applications are meant to be discharged and recharged (cycled) repeatedly. Ideally, to maintain healthy batteries and prolong battery life, most manufacturers suggest limiting the depth of discharge to about 20% (meaning the deep cycle batteries will be at 80% capacity or better.). Nowadays, different tools can help better maintain deep cycle battery health and provide statistics about the overall health of the system.
In general, deep cycle batteries are considered to be one of the best energy storage units when it comes to solar power.
What are the main types of deep cycle solar batteries?
When searching for deep cycle batteries for storage purposes, you have the option to choose from flooded lead acid batteries, sealed batteries or lithium batteries.
Flooded lead acid batteries (FLA)
First of all, FLA batteries use a certain type of technology that has been taking Aussies off-grid for decades. With the lowest upfront cost and a typical lifespan of 5-7 years, they do, however, require constant maintenance (checking the water level and adding distilled water to keep them topped up).
Sealed lead acid batteries (AGM or Gel cell)
Another deep cycle solar battery is the sealed lead acid, as a variation of lead acid which is maintenance-free. But these come at a higher price and usually a slightly shorter lifespan (3-5 years). There are a few types of sealed lead acid batteries – Gel and absorbent glass mat (AGM). Despite some minor differences in battery construction, both Gel and AGM are used in off-grid solar and have similar benefits.
Last but not least, lithium batteries are considered to be the most efficient. They waste much less power in the charge/discharge process compared to the first two. Plus, these batteries can also be cycled deeper, using more of their capacity. The higher upfront cost can be justified by a longer lifespan (10+ years) and higher charge/discharge rates. That is why lithium batteries may represent the ideal solution for off-grid systems.
All in all, when choosing a deep cycle solar battery, remember to also make sure that there is sufficient battery capacity (Amp Hours) to power the equipment you intend to use.
In conclusion, the sky is the limit when it comes to solar energy. So, why not start to take advantage of it today?
If you want to know which solar products are suitable for you, call BlackFrog Solar at 07 3881 1990 and schedule a free consultation today.
Until next time, treat your batteries right and they will reward you with a long life!
Your friend and solar lighting experts,
The BlackFrog Solar Team